World Cup Daily: Japan reacts to ref ‘shame’, Boycott talks England

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Hosts Brazil (eventually) got off to the perfect start in this year’s World Cup and we’ve got the latest reaction following the Selecao’s controversial 3-1 victory over Croatia.

Still, it’s now full speed ahead with the tournament now starting in earnest with three group games to look forward to later on today.

Here’s the lowdown.

In the headlines

First time for everything – Marcelo’s misguided effort to put Croatia ahead yesterday evening was the first time in World Cup history that an own goal was the initial strike in a tournament and the first time that a Brazilian has scored an own goal  in a World Cup match.

Coupled with those statistics, tonight’s Group B game between Spain and Holland will be the first time that two previous World Cup finalists have met each other in a group stage opener.

Fascinating? We thought so too.

Japanese fans ‘ashamed’ of referee – Yuichi Nishimura’s bizarre decision to award Brazil a penalty after Dejan Lovren tickled Fred’s bicep hasn’t just angered Croatian fans.

The Japanese have been quick to turn on their own countryman with a flurry of criticism being bandied about on social media.

@sanadamasayuki2 was especially scathing, stating: “It’s a tough job for us dithering Japanese.”

The England Camp

Cricket legend Geoffrey Boycott has issued a rousing pep talk to manager Roy Hodgson and the England team ahead of the kick-off to their World Cup campaign against Italy.

Boycott wished the Three Lions well before delivering a typically robust message to Hodgson and his players.

“If you play as bad as the England cricket team did in Australia, when they lost five nil and they were awful, don’t come home” he told BBC Radio 5Live.

You have been warned.

Injury List

Good news! Italy left-back Mattia De Sciglio has been ruled out of his side’s World Cup opener against England with a thigh strain, meaning Azzurri boss Cesare Prandelli will be forced to reshuffle his defence.

Fan Watch

Booty-shaking Brazil fans were naturally cock-a-hoop following their side’s opening day victory with these images capturing some of the celebrations.

Imagine if they actually win the damn thing?

And in other news

Spray success? Vanishing spray to stop players encroaching at free-kicks was used for the first time in Brazil’s match against Croatia, one of the finer pieces of work from Yuichi Nishimura.

But while using a spray may be effective for stopping foul play and negating the effects of male pattern baldness, we’re pretty sure it shouldn’t be used to cover up patchy football pitches.

However, that’s exactly what’s happening in Manaus with groundsmen foiled in their bid to fool us all into thinking anything other than that England v Italy will take place on something resembling a cabbage patch.

The Mirror - Pitch in Manaus PitchBODY

 

Good job lads but it’ll take more than a bit of spray to cure this pitch’s thinning thatch.

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William Geldart

William contributed to a number of online football blogs before finally finding his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow alongside the rest of the Ladbrokes News team. Now indulging passions for football, horse racing, greyhounds, boxing and political betting. Supports Wycombe Wanderers and can be spotted at various lower league and non-league grounds across the country.